Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Today's Special - - The Last Summer at Chelsea Beach Tour


The Last Summer at Chelsea Beach
By Pam Jenoff
Publisher: MIRA
Release Date: July 28, 2015




In 1941, with Hitler's grip on Europe strengthening, sixteen-year-old Jewish Italian, Adelia Monteforte is spirited onto a ship headed to America by her mother. Leaving everything she has known behind, Adelia arrives in Philadelphia where she is met by her aunt and uncle and taken to their summer rental at the Jersey shore. It is there that she first meets the Irish-Catholic Connelly family: four boisterous boys and their welcoming parents who almost immediately claim Adelia as one of their own. She forms different relationships with each of the boys: one nurturing, another, easy friendship, and a third one, challenging and a bit uneasy. But it's the eldest son, Charlie, a handsome athlete a few years older who captures her attention and her young heart.

Back in the city, Adelia's friendship with Charlie deepens and, eventually, they declare their feelings for one another but just as they are ready to share this news with their families a tragedy tears the Connelly family apart and they disappear from Philadelphia. When next they meet, Charlie is a soldier and Adelia is working for a newspaper in Washington, DC. It's apparent that the feelings they had for one another are still there but Adelia isn't ready to face them and runs, asking her boss to send her to the paper's London office where her translation and copy editing skills can be put to use in covering the war.

Almost another year passes before Charlie arrives in London in advance of the Normandy Invasion. Adelia has grown in their time apart, finding her place in journalism as well as being changed and strengthened by the people she meets and things she has seen in war-torn London. No longer the scared young girl who idolized Charlie, she's ready to meet him as an equal. Will the timing finally be right for them or are they destined to travel roads they never anticipated?

This was my first book by Jenoff but it won't be the last. She has created a deeply emotional story of love, loss, redemption and the healing road home. She did an excellent job of capturing the emotion of war-torn London and the dawning horror of Hitler's atrocities as well as the mood of America in the days leading up to, and following, the bombing of Pearl Harbor and America's entry into the war. The London scenes in particular are well researched, evoking the fear, intrigue, determination, and, at times, hopelessness of those living there.

My only quibble with the book was the final four chapters. While I was happy with the outcome (it was what I had hoped for), it felt rushed to me. Jenoff was generous in the time she took to develop characters during the first three-quarters of the book. I would have liked to have seen that same generosity in the final chapters. The emotions and relationships of several characters would have been richer and more believable had more time been given to them as well as allowing more time to pass between both the tragedy and a pivotal scene in London and the end of the book.

~PJ

Have you read any of Pam Jenoff's books?

Do you enjoy books set during the World War II era?


One randomly selected person leaving a comment will receive a copy of The Last Summer at Chelsea Beach and a Chelsea Beach limited edition beach bag. (US/Canada only)


Click below for a list of stops on the book tour:


Pam Jenoff is the Quill-nominated internationally bestselling author of The Kommadant’s Girl. She holds a bachelor’s degree in international affairs from George Washington University and a master’s degree in history from Cambridge, and she received her Juris Doctor from the University of Pennsylvania. Jenoff’s novels are based on her experiences working at the Pentagon and also as a diplomat for the State Department handling Holocaust issues in Poland. She lives with her husband and three children near Philadelphia where, in addition to writing, she teaches law school.






Connect with Pam

Website | Facebook | Twitter


Adelia Montforte begins the summer of 1941 aboard a crowded ship bound for America, utterly alone yet free of Fascist Italy. Whisked away to the seaside by her well-meaning aunt and uncle, she slowly begins to adapt to her new life. That summer, she basks in the noisy affection of the boisterous Irish-Catholic boys next door, and although she adores all four of the Connally brothers, it’s the eldest, Charlie, she pines for. But all hopes for a future together are throttled by the creep of war and a tragedy that hits much closer to home.
Needing to distance herself from grief, Addie flees – first to Washington and then London, where the bombs still scream by night – and finds a passion at a prestigious newspaper. More so, she finds a purpose. A voice. And perhaps even a chance to redeem lost time, lost family – and lost love. But the past, never far behind, nips at her heels, demanding to be reckoned with. And in a final, fateful choice, Addie discovers that the way home may be a path she never suspected.
  

Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble





23 comments:

  1. I've never read any of Pam's books. In the last six months or so I've been reading a lot of books set in the WWll era. This sounds like a good read and I'm looking forward to it.Thanks for the post & the chance to win a copy.
    Carol L
    Lucky470 (at) aol (dot) com

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    1. Carol, I love books set in this era. Do you have any recommendations?

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  2. I've never read any of Pam's books. In the last six months or so I've been reading a lot of books set in the WWll era. This sounds like a good read and I'm looking forward to it.Thanks for the post & the chance to win a copy.
    Carol L
    Lucky470 (at) aol (dot) com

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  3. I haven't read any of Pam's books but am certainly looking forward to reading this one. Yes, i do enjoy books (and TV series) about WWI and WWII. We learn so much about the hardships faced not only by the soldiers but also by their families. Let's pray we never see that again.

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    1. Praying with you, Connie. My dad related many stories about war conditions, food and gas rationing, etc. It wasn't easy here but it was horrific in many parts of Europe.

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  4. I like all historicals, you learn so much. I do know what you mean with rushed endings though. It makes me think that either their deadline came due or they hit their wordcount.

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    1. I still enjoyed the final chapters and the way the story ended but I would have enjoyed it more had it not felt rushed.

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  5. I like book set during WWII.

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    1. They seem to be becoming more popular.

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  6. I have this one on my check-it-out list, PJ. I really like WW II settings and am glad to see more of them. I grew up reading and rereading Elswyth Thane's Williamsburg series, and the final book in that series, Homing is set during WW II. Both Barbara Bretton and Jill Barnett have WW II books titled Sentimental Journey. The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons is unforgettable, and Carrie Lofty's His Very Own Girl was on my Best of 2012 list. I also love Rosamund Pilcher's epic Coming Home and LaVyrle Spencer's Morning Glory is a classic. Those are just the ones that come immediately to mind.

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    1. I've always been drawn to stories set during this era too, Janga. I've read and enjoyed several of the titles you mention.

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  7. I have read Pam's enthralling, extraordinary and memorable novels which are unforgettable and special. This novel interests me greatly since it is set during the era which is my favorite of all especially so since it is profound and meaningful. Thanks for this wonderful feature and great giveaway.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by. I'm glad I discovered Pam's writing!

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  8. Books set during World War 11 have always been my ultimate first choice because they are emotional, authentic, and thought provoking. Since this is the period during which I was born they are even more important and I seek them out. Pam is a talented and creative writer whose books have brought me many hours and days of enjoyment.

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  9. Love the setting and time period of this book. I hope to read it soon.

    bluedawn95864 at gmail dot com

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  10. oooh... I read an excerpt of this on another blog and it definitely drew me in :) I really enjoy books set during WWII, especially romances and this sounds a bit different from the run of the mill. Thanks for sharing!

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  11. I haven't read any of the books by this author, but I would like to remedy the situation as soon as I can :D and yes I do enjoy books that are set in WWII.

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  12. I am glad books set during WWII are seen as historical now. There have been more showing up all the time. It is a time period with so many stories waiting to be told. I collect old books and have several written during the 1940's. It was interesting reading the stories from a contemporary viewpoint.
    Best wishes for a successful release of THE LAST SUMMER AT CHELSEA BEACH. It sounds like a book I will enjoy reading.

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